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Honolua Bay

Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District

Maui, Hawai'i

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Honolua Bay

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  • View north to Honolua Bay from HI-30/Honoapi'ilani Highway.- Honolua Bay
  • Short four-wheel drive access road to the bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Short four-wheel drive access road to the bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Day use picnic area at the bay.- Honolua Bay
  • A Honolua Bay access point.- Honolua Bay
  • A Honolua Bay access point.- Honolua Bay
  • One of the many chickens present in the area surrounding Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Coral submerged just offshore from Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Red pencil urchin/ha'uke'uke'ula'ula (Heterocentrotus mamillatus) and long-spined urchin/wana halula (Diadema antillarum).- Honolua Bay
  • Coral submerged just offshore of Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Coral submerged just offshore of Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Red pencil urchin/ha'uke'uke'ula'ula (Heterocentrotus mamillatus).- Honolua Bay
  • Reef triggerfish/humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa (Rhinecanthus rectangulus) in Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Hawai'ian cauliflower coral (Pocilopora ligulata) in Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • Blue-spotted cornetfish (Fistularia commersonii) in Honolua Bay.- Honolua Bay
  • View south of Honolua Bay from HI-30/Honoapi'ilani Highway.- Honolua Bay
  • View south of Honolua Bay from HI-30/Honoapi'ilani Highway.- Honolua Bay
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Snorkeling. Quiet bay.
Cons: 
Reef in poor health. Rocky shore (no beach). Very limited parking along the road.
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Region:
Maui, HI
Congestion: 
High
Location type: 
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

As a day trip from Lahaina, Honolua Bay is tops. This quiet, rocky, protected bay is tucked away behind tall cliff bands—effectively keeping the wind to a minimum, the waves relatively calm, and the scenery simply spectacular.

If you’re after sandy beaches and leisurely lounging, nearby Mokule’ia Bay may be your better bet. Honolua is relatively rocky, especially on the right side of the beach, and thanks to its popularity, most of the dark grey, sandy real estate on the left side of the beach is occupied early and throughout the day. If you’re here to snorkel, though, this should be of no bother: The majority of the coral is found offshore beyond the rocky beach where most of the fish congregate. 

Like its southern neighbor, Mokule’ia Bay, Honolua Bay is a part of the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District, and fishing or disturbing the wildlife in any way is strictly prohibited. While Honolua is known for its snorkeling, there is a chance that the water near the shore will be murky thanks to a stream that comes in near the west side of the bay. Typically, even on a low-visibility day, the water will clear up once you get a little farther from shore. If you take the time, you’ll be rewarded with abundant schools of butterfly fish of many varieties, Potter’s angelfish, yellow-tail wrasse, and the rainbow-colored ornate wrasse among others. The chances of catching a glimpse of sea turtles are high here as well.

Additionally, the Honolua Bay surf break is renowned as one of the best on the island when it’s in. It’s far enough away from shore that it won’t affect swimmers or snorkelers, but when there’s a perfect north break here, it’s an incredible sight to see. Gaze just a bit farther off across the Pailolo Channel straight ahead, and you’ll see the eastern shores of the Island of Molokai.

Arrive early to ensure yourself parking—this is one of the most popular beaches in the area, and parking can be tough to find.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(40 within a 30 mile radius)

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